Apr 042010
 
 April 4, 2010  Court, Surveillance

The New York Times has an editorial about the ruling in the Al-Haramain case and how it’s time for an end to warrantless surveillance and the abuses of power by the previous administration:

Senator Obama promised repeatedly in the 2008 campaign to reverse Mr. Bush’s many abuses of power. This was one of them. President Obama should read this court ruling with chagrin and eliminate warrantless spying. It is also far past time to stop hiding behind spurious, often ludicrous, claims of national security.

Somewhere along the line, the NY Times editors seem to have not noticed that President Obama morphed into a Bush clone when it comes to trampling civil liberties in the name of national security. Not only did Obama’s Department of Justice vigorously defend against the Al-Haramain case, they went even further in some respects than their predecessors.

Senator Russ Feingold was right all the way down the line about warrantless surveillance and the new FISA amendments that legalize warrantless surveillance. Rather than standing with Senator Feingold, then-Senator Obama stood with those sheep who tried to protect the government and businesses from accountability for what they had done. It is not just the President who should read the court opinion with chagrin but every member of Congress who became an apologist or rationalizer for warrantless surveillance of Americans.

Based on his track record, I do not expect this President to eliminate warrantless spying. Nor do I necessarily expect Judge Walker’s ruling to withstand an appeal if it ever gets to the Supreme Court. But for one brief shining moment this week, it felt wonderful to hear a federal judge fight to preserve our Fourth Amendment rights by telling the government that they had violated someone’s protected rights.

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